Govt urged to improve system, incentivise taxpayers to broaden tax net

Staff Reporter

The Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ICCI) has urged the government to improve the taxation system to increase the number of taxpayers instead of putting more burden on the existing taxpayers.

In a statement on Saturday, ICCI President Sardar Yasir Ilyas Khan said that the business community is contributing significantly in the tax revenue generation and as a result the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) achieved a historic level of tax revenues of Rs4,732 billion in 2020-21, surpassing the revised target of Rs4,691 billion, which was 18% higher than last year.

The president ICCI said that the government should fully automate the taxation system to reduce people to people contact and take initiatives to make the taxation system easier for the taxpayers.

He said that businessmen are paying huge amount of taxes but their contribution to the economy is not acknowledged and they are also not incentivised accordingly.

Yasir said that with easing out of the taxation system and giving incentives to taxpayers, the tax net could be increased manifold s which would also help in releasing the pressure on the existing taxpayers.

He proposed that in order to incentivise the taxpayers and increase the tax base, the government should allow self-assessment programmes and mechanisms, in which people would be willing to pay taxes based on their own comfort level.

He added this will allow several taxpayers to become a part of the tax net which will increase the tax base.

He said that ICCI has been recommending to the government time and again for introducing the fixed tax policy linked with the self-assessment scheme, which is the only way to decrease the trust deficit.

He said that the POS system is unfortunately creating distrust among the traders which were installed in good faith, and recommended that the government through chambers of commerce and industry should take the business community on board and FBR must conduct seminars to give orientation to taxpayers for filing tax returns, Weboc system and several other aspects etc.

Yasir stressed that FBR should facilitate the taxpayers by introducing special counters for business community at airports, NADRA, CDA, RDA and important government departments to give them priority and preferential treatment, and as a business community will feel honoured that they are being treated with respect and their contribution in the economy is acknowledged.

He further suggested that the government should also introduce special cards like Gold, Silver and Platinum for different slabs of taxpayers to give them respect and treatment like Federal Ministers.

The ICCI president said that for better and sustainable outcome of policies, the government should keep the chambers of commerce and industry & associations in loop in the consultative process.

He assured the cooperation of the business community to the government for achieving the next year’s tax revenue targets.

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